Is SDN Ready for Prime Time?

By Teri Francis March 21, 2017

Evolve or die. It’s an overused statement these days, but it definitely applies to today’s networks.

Simply put, there is too much content out there now – more content than the internet was ever really built for. And, if providers can’t or won’t adapt to scale their networks for this influx of bandwidth-hungry content, their customers – both enterprises and their business-critical partners – will leave for providers who can and will meet their needs.

There is a solution, however. As the rise in content through XaaS, 5G and the IoT continue to put pressure on traditional networks, software-defined networking (SDN) offers an intuitive and flexible alternative for enterprises and their partners.

Rising Pressure Points

Customer demands on network operators — even as XaaS, 5G and the IoT cause the volume of traffic over the network to swell and consume an ever-higher amount of resources — focus on two areas:  flexibility and performance. Achieving these means dynamically prioritizing routes and connectivity for immediate, real-time bandwidth and congestion management.

Is SDN Ready for Prime Time?With the proliferation of mobile devices, content services such as streaming video and music and the distribution of content across cloud platforms, this traffic will not only continue to grow at an exponential rate, but will also continue to outpace revenue. Exacerbating the issue is the lack of predictability in this traffic, because variability is also increasing. We now have a much greater range between the largest and smallest traffic flows in a given period of time.

To meet the exponential bandwidth challenges of the day, providers need to be able to make their networks agile and efficient, and do so in a way that creates revenue streams through innovative services and business models.

Enter SDN

That’s where software-defined networking comes into play. Although SDN tech dates back to the ’90s, it has been evolving ever since, driven primarily by the need for network agility. Now that moving a virtual machine from one data center to another has become a fully automated, point-and-click affair, the network needs to follow that lead and become virtualized as well.

The industry is already making major steps in this direction: Google and New Zealand’s REANNZ academic research network show have both launched large-scale SDN deployments, reflecting an industrywide recognition of, and shift toward, the need for SDN in bandwidth provisioning.

SDN grants the level of virtualized and flexible networking experience that today’s enterprises need to keep pace with their always-changing, business-critical bandwidth demands. The longer it takes for others to acknowledge this reality, the more these enterprises will find themselves starved of the bandwidth they need, when they need it. And, when their dissatisfied customers start fleeing, these companies will part ways with their current providers in search for more modern solutions.

Console Connect takes an SDN approach to the networking experience, spinning up virtualized, one-click direct connections between enterprises and their SaaS providers, cloud vendors and data center partners, across 170 PoPs around the world. These private connections offer not only security, transparency and reliability, but the flexibility and scalability needed to provision the right amount of bandwidth at all the right times.

Take a look at the Console app to see for yourself, or sign up for a free 30-day trial today.

 

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About Teri Francis

Teri Francis is senior vice president and chief product officer, responsible for the overall product strategy, management, design, and innovative vision of the Console platform. She has over 20 years of diverse experience in networking, cloud, and data center technologies. Read more